Leaving a Legacy: How Sarnia-Lambton Youth Are Making a Difference

In 2012, an industrious group of students passionate about community sustainability approached the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative about the concept of a youth driven component. BSI GenY was created to address a diverse variety of projects touching on social, cultural, economic and environmental issues.

Green Drinks Sarnia has hosted BSI GenY in past years. Three former member: Naima Raza, Brandon Vale and Noah Busby were the discussion leaders. They told their story about the inception of BSI GenY, how that model has transformed since its beginnings and now as their journey continues to post-secondary educational pursuits, what impact this group has had and is having on the community of Sarnia-Lambton and what is their vision for youth engagement after their departure. What is their legacy?


Noah Busby a recent graduate from Northern Collegiate and the Canadian Sea Cadets where he won numerous awards including the Royal Canadian Legion’s Cadet Medal of Honour. Noah has travelled to Peru to help construct an intensive care unit, studied in France, built a green space at Northern Collegiate and helped initiate the school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance. He was also Co-President of Northern’s Multi-Cultural Awareness Club.

Naima Raza is also a recent graduate from Northern Collegiate who is looking forward to pursuing a Studio Y Fellowship with the Mars Institute next year and then heading off to the University of Waterloo to study Knowledge Integration and Psychology. Naima is passionate about helping youth realize their potential to catalyze change in their community. Naima’s community involvement has included managing several sustainability projects at BSI Gen Y, mental health and student engagement projects as the LKDSB Student Trustee, and being an Arabic teacher with the Sarnia Muslim Association.

Brandon Vale is in grade 12 at St. Patrick’s High School. He is involved with a number of organizations in Sarnia-Lambton ranging from the Sarnia Computer Users Group to Junior Achievement to BSI Gen Y. In his spare time, Brandon enjoys photography, graphic design and entrepreneurship. He is also passionate about computers and electronics with an emphasis on experimenting, prototyping, and programming. This is sure to be an inspirational and educational evening, please join us!

Green Drinks Sarnia is held on the second Wednesday of every month at Limbo Lounge in the backroom. Each month an environmental topic is selected and an expert on that topic is invited to be our Discussion Leader. Green Drinks is always informative, always fun and perhaps most important…always free to attend!

by Dave Watson

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Special thanks to our sponsors:
Haines Printing and Limbo Lounge